Commencement

Oberlin College Commencement

Oberlin College Commencement
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Commencement/Reunion Weekend

Oberlin College Commencement/Reunion Weekend took place from May 19-22, which represented a slight shift from when the event is typically held: Memorial Weekend. Commencement exercises were held beginning at 9:30 a.m. Monday, May 22.

We will post a video of the ceremony, along with transcripts of the speeches, as soon as they become available. Review the weekend in pictures and text through our varied social media sites.


Commencement Speakers, Award Recipients

Darren WalkerOberlin College welcomed Darren Walker as its 2017 Commencement speaker as Commencement exercises took place Monday, May 22 on Tappan Square.

Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, considered the nation’s second-largest philanthropic organization. He has been a leader in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors for more than 20 years. He led the philanthropy committee that helped bring a resolution to the city of Detroit’s historic bankruptcy. He is chair of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance.

Prior to joining Ford, Walker was vice president at the Rockefeller Foundation, where he managed the rebuild New Orleans initiative after Hurricane Katrina. In the 1990s, as COO of the Abyssinian Development Corporation—Harlem’s largest community development organization—Walker oversaw a comprehensive revitalization program of central Harlem, including more than 1,000 new housing units. Previously, he had a decade-long career in international law and finance at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and UBS.

The college presented Walker with an honorary Doctor of Humanities.

Read his Commencement address.

Read President Marvin Krislov’s Commencement remarks.

Read President Marvin Krislov’s State of the College address.


Jill JacobsOberlin College welcomed Rabbi Jill Jacobs as its 2017 Baccalaureate Service speaker.

The annual Multifaith Baccalaureate Service took place at 1:30 p.m., on May 21 in Finney Chapel with guest speaker Rabbi Jill Jacobs, the executive director of T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, an organization that mobilizes 1,800 rabbis and cantors and tens of thousands of American Jews to protect human rights in North America, Israel, and the occupied Palestinian territories. She will speak on the topic, “From Private Conviction to Public Action.”

Widely regarded as a leading voice on Jewish social justice, Rabbi Jacobs regularly lectures at synagogues, Jewish community centers, and conferences and has written about Jewish perspectives on social justice and human rights for more than two dozen publications.


In addition to Walker, the college presented honorary degrees and service awards to the following alumni and friends of the college:


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